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Flop Sweat

Well, as the general election draws nearer, I find Senator Obama is doing more and more things that I agree with.

First there was the DC gun ban. He'd spent a lot of time (although not much energy) supporting the ban, saying that he thought it was the right thing to do. That was entirely consistent with his history on gun control -- he's been in favor of outright bans of handguns, draconian restrictions on gun stores, and the like for well over a decade. Then, when the ban was struck down by the Court, he agreed with that, too.

So, in essence, he supported a law that he found unconstitutional.

But that's not really important. What's important is that he now backs the Court's decision. He doesn't just accept it, he agrees with it. So he's with me there.

Then there was telecom immunity and the FISA bill. He was so opposed to it that he threatened to filibuster it. But when it came time to stand up and be counted, he was counted -- on the side that voted in favor of the bill.

Last week, Jesse Jackson expressed his extreme displeasure with Senator Obama. Now, a lot of the time I can use Jesse Jackson as a touchstone -- the more he disapproves of something, the better the odds that it'll be something I can support.

Now he's backtracking on his position in Iraq. He's still in favor of a complete withdrawal, regardless of what else might be going on, but he's pushed that back a year. Again, closer to my positions.

So, why am I not thrilled about these moves? Why do I not welcome his conversion, his coming around to a more reasonable position on the issues?

Simply put, because I do not believe him.

I don't believe any of these positions are sincere. Senator Obama has spent way too much time, invested too much energy, into the positions he is now freely abandoning. Moreover, he hasn't shown any enthusiasm or taken any risks to espouse his new positions, only taking them on once they have become politically advantageous.

Earlier in this election season, I said that while I disagreed with Senator Obama, I could at least respect him because he seemed to at least be a man of principles. I knew where he stood, and that helped a little.

I'd like to think that he's changed, but I strongly suspect that rather he was fooling me all along.

And I understand now, a little, how the Nutroots are feeling now that the scales are falling from their eyes and they now see Obama as he truly is.


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Comments (29)

Obama is a political windso... (Below threshold)
kt:

Obama is a political windsock.

The song from my childhood ... (Below threshold)
epador:

The song from my childhood comes to mind:

"the wheels on the bus go round and round..."

[the sound they're making o... (Below threshold)
epador:

[the sound they're making on the Obama Bus is kathump, kathump, kathump as they run over all the folks and ideas O man keeps throwing under it]

By October, the nutroots wi... (Below threshold)
sam:

By October, the nutroots will be saying, "This is not the Obama we have known for eight months."

There aren't any positions ... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

There aren't any positions or persons he will not toss under the bus to appease the audience he's in front of for political expediency.

He's a ruthless Chicago pol... (Below threshold)
Roy:

He's a ruthless Chicago political hack. He's worse than Hillary ever could dream of being. They're not lies if you don't really believe in them anyway.

Sorry, epador, but those wh... (Below threshold)
cirby:

Sorry, epador, but those wheels can't possibly be touching the ground any more.

"Why do I not welcome hi... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"Why do I not welcome his conversion, his coming around to a more reasonable position on the issues?"

I can't answer for you, but I would say it's because I know he's just trying to get elected.

He's not even elected yet and we have Change! Here's where the Hope! part comes in. The nutroots are hoping he doesn't change anymore.

Kt, that's such a great way... (Below threshold)
Tammy:

Kt, that's such a great way of putting it: "a political windsock." That's about the most accurate description I've heard of him yet.

John Kerry, Part Deux.... (Below threshold)

John Kerry, Part Deux.

So he's insinscere--at leas... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

So he's insinscere--at least he's not sincerely clueless, like his counterpart.

Good thing for the Democratic Party the "nutroots" are a small constituency, else they might have something to worry about come November.

There is no change with Oba... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

There is no change with Obama. Only the clueless like Hyper actually believe a politician can offer change. His schtick is getting very old very fast. McCain and Obama are now tied. Obama lost his lead. Could it be his past flips caught up with him and he is now being seen as another politician? Yup. ww

I must follow the people. A... (Below threshold)
rodney dill:

I must follow the people. Am I not their leader?
-- Benjamin Disraeli

Actually, hyper, Obama's ga... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

Actually, hyper, Obama's gaffs and apparent inability to think without a teleprompter is rather disturbing. His lack of knowledge of basic economics, and extreme ignorance of foreign affairs show an amount of cluelessness that is frightening.

Honestly, while I disagree with Kuscinich and think he is batshit crazy, I *respect* him more because he has always been consistent and sincere in his positions--even when those positions are off the wall.

Obama is just another politician.

You do know that the FISA b... (Below threshold)

You do know that the FISA bill was a compromise bill, different than the original. The compromise bill brought in wide Democratic support unlike the original bill which had heavy Democratic opposition.

While Obama may actually be a strong advocate for gun control laws, as are most law enforcement officers as well, the Supreme Court decision did leave enough room for reasonable gun control measures, which Obama found acceptable enough to voice support for.

Neither of these positions are issue "flip-flops", but rather support for issues that evolved as the facts changed. A British politician once said, "I may change my mind as facts change", and then asked his oppponent, "What do you do?"

A mans reputation is build ... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

A mans reputation is build on his actions not his words. Obama has the reputation as anti-gun, anti-NAFTA, pro-TAX increases and pro-Abortion.

His recent lies are just a smoke screen.

The Obama con continues ...

Paul,Obama clearly... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

Paul,

Obama clearly stated that he thought the gun ban was constitutional ...

Then he claims the decision to declare it un-constitutional agreed with him.

That is either a flip or a lie ... you choose ...

the "reasonable" laws Obama would try to put in place would ban handgun ownership ...

I don't give a damn if every cop in America wanted to ban handguns ... get an Amendment passed, otherwise tough luck ...

You are being conned by Obama ... fine, don't vote for McCain but please don't get sucked into this con job ...

"Pro-abortion" is tard-spea... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

"Pro-abortion" is tard-speak for "pro-choice". Nobody likes abortions, but some people are smart enough to realize that they can't legislate by gut instinct. And anyway the United States is "pro-abortion", so what's your point, Jeff? That he's in the mainstream? That he's not a radical anti-feminist? Do you wish you were born in the 1930s?

Willie: you know what, so long as Obama isn't as dick-shaking foreign policy as McCain, I could care less if his entire platform consisted of '2+2=5'. And I am just *giddy* with anticipation at seeing McCain whither and float away once he gets his angry ass handed to him by a majority of the American people, after wanting so badly to be President. They aren't tied--wishes are not ponies, and dreams are not rainbows, Willie. Your guy is running the most pathetic campaign for President in years, and not even his media enablers can salvage it for him.

Stock up on Wild Turkey and Kleenex.

Jeff, as a constitutional l... (Below threshold)

Jeff, as a constitutional law professor, Mr. Obama's belief that the long standing D.C. gun ban law was constitutional was merely a professional opinion. It had no weight of law. However, the Supreme Court decision was of course a binding legal decision by contrast. Mr. Obama merely found that Supreme Court decision reasonable enough to voice support for when asked by journalists.

Of course anyone knows that with a Bill Of Rights, there will always be some legal right for law abiding citizens to own guns if they wish. Only some limitations such as keeping guns from children, criminals or mentally unstable persons, or banning military type weapns of mass killing such as explosives are likely to find a path into law. The ban on some aspects of assault weapons only exists because of the grey area of whether such weapons are a weapon of mass killing with no legitimate use for hunting or personal safety or not. Grey area weapons issues like this are only likely to resolved by some further Supreme Court decision to decide what sort of weapons these are.

Still waiting for that cove... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Still waiting for that coveted John McCain endorsement...you put your weight behind Mitt Romney at one point, so it can't be to far behind.

Ironically, you said that the #1 reason you didn't support John Kerry was "consistency," yet you supported Romney.

Hyper, you have such an abi... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Hyper, you have such an ability to see into the future. Are you a seer by trade? You are so convinced Obama will win. I do not know how this will go. I have seen too many elections change after the conventions. I will say, Obama is the candidate most likely to implode. He is "regretting" more and more lately. He is after all an unproven leader. Nothing in his portfolio. Nothing that has even demonstrated a hint of leadership or consistancy. You are Canadian yet you follow our politics. Do you have US envy? And can you debate without being juvenile and vulgar? ww

Wow...a brother calling ano... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Wow...a brother calling another brother a nigger...go figure! It's a sad day when the black youth of our time use the very racial slur, in a regular part of their language, that their grandfathers fought and die to be removed from our vocabulary.

Jay,You may like tha... (Below threshold)
Mike in Oregon:

Jay,
You may like that O agrees with the Supreme Court decision on gun control. But rest assured he is going to appoint judges that would have upheld the D.C. ban. So, as usual, he can have it both ways.

Bush says no talks with Ira... (Below threshold)
bob:

Bush says no talks with Iran, but wow suddenly he's opening talks with Iran! And Johnny Mac says gay marriage OK but wow suddenly it's bad! Mac was against the GI bill before he was for it, he said he'd balance he budget in his first term before it changed to his last term, he was for the estate tax before he was against it, was against ethanol before he was for it. These republican flip flops are making Obama's head spin!

Happy reading! http://flipflop.bi30.org/

Hey, he promised change!</p... (Below threshold)
BlueNight:

Hey, he promised change!

Now for the hope: Robert Heinlein wrote a short story about a Party Machine candidate in a small-city race. The other guy managed to prove to the Party Machine gal that the party was using her as a means to an end. She quit that party, switched sides, and he became her campaign manager.

I'd LOVE to see Senator Obama get a clue, and suddenly become a Reagan conservative. I just don't think it'll happen.

But I can always hope for change...

Willie, when you're an old ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Willie, when you're an old square, everything is juvenile and vulgar.

Obama is most likely to implode? Well, that's tautologically true, I suppose, because it's hard for someone trailing by double digits to implode. Only the front runner can do that.

Mike--don't be stupid. People can reclaim cuss words in certain contexts. Like, it's a bad thing if John McCain calls his wife a cunt, but it's not a bad thing if Eve Ensler uses it in her shitty Monologues. (Shitty not because they're feminist, but because they're poorly written and saccharine.) Oh, those were the days when we could all say nigger, huh! That was what equality was all about...
depp=true
notiz=Don't you get tired of not learning?

I wish some of you would sh... (Below threshold)
Tom Colton:

I wish some of you would show some concern for
The National Security Act of 1998 that Bill
Clinton signed into law making it legal for the
government to "disappear you" without an arrest
warrant, without a lawyer, without a hearing,
without charges, without a trial, and
without a phone call. Not only that,
but they can detain you "indefinitely"
at an "undisclosed location", forever,
if they want to. Doesn't that bother
any of you, that this can happen to
an honest, law abiding American Citizen?
This was signed into law 10 years ago by Bill
Clinton, and you all act like you've
never heard of it. The Patriot Act and GITMO
are nothing compared to this gross violation
of The Bill of Rights by The National Security
Act of 1998.

"...the Supreme Court de... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"...the Supreme Court decision did leave enough room for reasonable gun control measures,..."

And what measures does Obama see as reasonable? THAT'S the $64,000 question.

1) No gun sales within a 5 mile radius of schools or parks.

2) He endorsed an Illinois hand gun ban and supported the DC ban

3) A total ban on semi-automatics

4) Conceal/carry is only OK for retired Police officers

On the conceal/carry issue:

"I didn't find that [vote] surprising. I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry. This was a narrow exception in an exceptional circumstance where a retired police officer might find himself vulnerable as a consequence of the work he has previously done--and had been trained extensively in the proper use of firearms."

And those 'vulnerable' who live in violent areas of inner-cities but were never police officers "trained extensively in the proper use of firearms?" Well, too bad for you!

While he supported the DC ban, he also said he had "no intention of taking away folks' guns".

Here's his non-answer to the question of how he could reconcile those two positions:

Because I think we have two conflicting traditions in this country. I think it's important for us to recognize that we've got a tradition of handgun ownership and gun ownership generally. And a lot of law-abiding citizens use it for hunting, for sportsmanship, and for protecting their families. We also have a violence on the streets that is the result of illegal handgun usage. And so I think there is nothing wrong with a community saying we are going to take those illegal handguns off the streets. And cracking down on the various loopholes that exist in terms of background checks for children, the mentally ill. We can have reasonable, thoughtful gun control measure that I think respect the Second Amendment and people's traditions.

I think I respect the second amendment. Therefore when he says he supports the ban, he's saying he supports taking illegal guns off the streets. ?? Ummm...that's not what the DC ban was about.

Oops, I misquoted the part ... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Oops, I misquoted the part that says "I think I respect the second amendment". Apologies.




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